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University of Michigan’s Server Outage: What Happened?

Brian Gornick, Sports Editor

UM-Dearborn’s logo is shown on the Social Sciences Building. Photo//Susan Montgomery, Shutterstock

As students and faculty returned to classes across all three University of Michigan campuses, a sense of unknown was felt. Classes on Canvas couldn’t be accessed, professors couldn’t login to access their lesson plans and an internet connection was nowhere to be found on campus.

So what happened?

On Sunday, Aug. 27, IT workers at the University of Michigan reportedly detected malware on the school’s internet network. To protect the servers from any further damage, the servers were shut down entirely, taking all three universities essentially off-grid.

It took IT services at the University of Michigan three days to restore internet access according to a campus-wide email from UM-Dearborn Dean of Students Amy Finley, and even then some online services were still down, such as registration and DegreeWorks.

All of the campuses pooled their resources to support the return to campus during the tumultuous time, such as U-M Dearborn opening their Emergency Operations Center to create the best solutions for students struggling with the return to campus and classes.

In an email sent to all University of Michigan students and faculty, President Santa Ono thanked everyone for their “diligence and patience” as the university navigated the return of internet services. Ono also confirmed in the email that the University of Michigan was hit by an attack, and that IT services at the university were working with federal law enforcement to investigate the source of the attack.

While the university has been mum on any further details due to the ongoing investigation, who sent the attack and why are still unknown. Meanwhile, online services have been restored to all three campuses, and life seems to be back to normal for the upcoming school year.


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